Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 205–221 | Cite as

Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature

  • Robert C. Ford
  • Woodrow D. Richardson


The authors review the empirical literature in order to assess which variables are postulated as influencing ethical beliefs and decision making. The variables are divided into those unique to the individual decision maker and those considered situational in nature. Variables related to an individual decision maker examined in this review are nationality, religion, sex, age, education, employment, and personality. Situation specific variables examined in this review are referent groups, rewards and sanctions, codes of conduct, type of ethical conflict, organization effects, industry, and business competitiveness. The review identifies the variables that have been empirically tested in an effort to uncover what is known and what we need to know about the variables that are hypothesized as determinants of ethical decision behavior.


Decision Making Economic Growth Decision Maker Empirical Literature Ethical Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. Ford
    • 1
  • Woodrow D. Richardson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management, School of BusinessUniversity Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamU.S.A.

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